There he talks, there he talks nonsense and there Danny Sabatello

Conor McGregor was hardly the first fighter to talk trash to build his reputation and increase his business – Ever heard of a boxer named Muhammad Ali? — but McGregor took it to the next level in his career to become the UFC’s biggest star.

Warrior Danny Sabatello is trying hard, maybe too hard, to become the modern day McGregor. The former Purdue wrestler faced off against Warrior bantamweight champion Raufeon Stots, and the two met Friday in the main event of Warrior 289 at Mohegan Sun Arena for Stots’ bantamweight title and a spot in the Grand Prix finals.

Stots is more spurious, but Sabatello has tried to position himself as a star.

“Bottom line, my role is huge,” he said. “This is the Danny Sabatello Show. I’m the main event. The one guy who should send me a Christmas present is Raufeon Stots. He’s been in the game forever. There’s nothing new about this guy; he’s getting all this attention for a reason. With the title fight, he’s going to be huge . The season is exciting for Team Sabatello, and it’s only going to get better.”

Sabatello fought and won at Dana White’s Contender Series on November 10, 2020, but did not earn a contract. Sabatello won an easy decision over Taylor Moore at DWCS 35, but it was a fight that fans didn’t find all that entertaining.

No matter how hard it was perceived to be, Moore’s win showed that Sabatello is capable of not only competing, but winning at the highest level of the sport. Since joining the Warriors, he has gone 3-0, with unanimous decision victories over Brett Johns, Iornel Lugo and Leandro Higo for an overall MMA record of 13-1.

Bellator bantamweight champion Raufeon Stots lays down trash-talking challenger Danny Sabatello prior to Friday's main event of Bellator 289. (Lucas Noonan/Bellator MMA)

Bellator bantamweight champion Raufeon Stots lays down trash-talking challenger Danny Sabatello prior to Friday’s main event of Bellator 289. (Lucas Noonan/Bellator MMA)

Stots could not control himself and was thrown by Sabatello. His game has proven to be different enough that he is winning at the highest level of the game. Sabatello doubted that he had done so.

“I was born to hit wrestlers,” Stots said. “I’m a fighter myself. His style is so one-dimensional, I just have to watch out for one thing. I think this is going to be one of my easier fights. I don’t see him having the necessary skills to win the fight.”

Sabatellus did not take kindly to Stots words, but he did not save his anger only for Stots. Patchy Mix and Magomed Magomedov meet in the other, far less publicized Grand Prix semifinals.

The recklessness of choosing Stots to win and retain his title sent Sabatello into a frenzy. Whether it was just anger or just a line given to Lake’s influence is debatable, but Sabatello has taken on the role of No. 1 heel Warrior and is running hard with it.

“I forgot those two forks in my battle paper,” he said. “The whole division, I see them talking and being buddy-buddy. I’m not in the friends business, I’m in the face punching business. [Mix] can predict Stots wins. I don’t do ap**k. I don’t have a prediction for them, because they both suck.

So Sabatellus speaks and preaches all kinds of mayhem, but at one point, the door of the cage is closed and he throws his words back at someone who is not afraid to speak.

Until the time came that he was forced to stop the jabulation, although Sabatello thought he was coming to keep the verbal warfare.

“Raufeon was very frightened,” said Sabatello. “He turns himself around every time I face him. He tries to turn it into a positive energy [but] it’s just nervous energy. This is a way of trying to cope with things. I can already see him in my head. I’m at the head of Stots, and I’m sending it to full display this Friday night.

“A lot of people were writing me off because they’re haters. Everyone has haters, and I have a lot of haters. I’m very good at this. I didn’t listen to the haters or any of that bullshit. All the people who say they suck weren’t in the fight. If the skills and abilities look at me, what I have done to men, let this fight be no question.”

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